Jon Stevenson was the secretary for the Florida Department of Environmental Protection and has recently resigned. One of the concerns during his two years at the job was the Mosaic Sinkhole that opened up last year, the current picture for the news article seen here. While Mosaic is continuing to try and plug up the sinkhole, residents near the gypsum plant are suing for not being notified. Stevenson's resignation is effective Feb. 3 of this year.


Stevenson was the replacement pick for secretary and has been the secretary for the DEP under Gov.

Rick Scott. Hershel Vinyard Jr. was the other candidate for the job, but has no prior experience due to his background being a shipyard executive and working alongside ex-Sen. Thrasher as a law partner. Stevenson worked on a special council from 2011 to 2012, working with the legislative and policy issues of the DEP. Stevenson was acting deputy on things like water policy and ecosystem restoration. It was his experience in the position as acting deputy secretary that got him the job as secretary for the DEP. Somehow it seemed like a big mistake.

Bad choices

When Jon Stevenson became DEP secretary, he went back to some of his co-workers in the Northwest Florida Water Management District, where he worked previously for his cabinet picks.

Gary Clark Jr. was Stevenson's pick for acting deputy secretary. Gary Clark Jr. had no prior experience as acting deputy or for any other state agency except running his quail hunting preserve in the Northwest portion of Florida. Last month, Stevenson replaced Donald Forgione with Public Service Commission member Lisa Edgar.

The big focus for Jon Stevenson was secretary to the DEP, was the parks within the state. Currently the parks make about 80% of revenue for expenses. Stevenson wanted to bring other resources to the parks that could help them be self-sustaining. These include options such as timber harvesting and cattle grazing to name a couple.

"This is the biggest threat to the park system that I have seen," said former DEP employee Jim Stevenson to the Tampa Bay Times.

Later as Jon Stevenson worked his way through the duties of DEP secretary, he pushed for an increase use of benzene, a known cancer causing chemical to be put in rivers, streams and other sources of drinking water. This chemical caused concerns with the EPA and are reviewing the increase usage of the product that is commonly found as a waste product of fracking. The doses for the chemical exceeded the governmental standards found in water.

The biggest issue was the sinkhole that opened up last year. 220 feet deep, 45 feet wide, it dumped 215 million gallons of radioactive water into the ground. Stevenson was notified, but did not notify Gov. Rick Scott.